Traveling Music Illustration

(Michael Koval/Emerald)

Sometimes it can feel like more coming and going, flying and driving takes place to and from holiday plans than is actually spent enjoying them. Whether you are catching a flight or turning on cruise control in the car, good music never fails to make the time pass faster. Instead of stressing out about traffic or a delayed flight, turn up the volume and drown out everything but these songs. Here’s what the Emerald thinks you should be listening to:

For when you need to hear feminist punk

Thanksgiving can be stressful. From the incessant personal questions to the watery tofurkey, no wonder many of us don’t feel too grateful this holiday season. So, what better to listen to while traveling home than feminist punk?

The first song to add to your playlist is Cherry Glazerr’s new single, “Daddi.” With uncomfortably incestuous tinges and angsty guitar, “Daddi” is the ultimate rebellious song against the patriarchy, particularly annoying fathers. Better yet, blast it at the dinner table when your dad asks why you got that new tattoo.

“Painkiller” by Beach Bunny is your next sing-along. With brutally honest lyrics, such as “every conversation puts me back on medication,” and a danceable beat worthy enough for the hippest of punks, this song can be your “painkiller” until Thanksgiving is over.

Lastly, don’t forget “Harvard” by Diet Cig, so you can scream “f*** your ivy league sweater” at your windshield instead of your older cousin.  

For when you find yourself in questionable circumstances

Traveling for the holidays can be a drag. The airport check-in lines stretch as far as the eye can see, TSA isn’t the friendliest and students are exhausted from all of the week nine work. When you are feeling drained and need a boost:

Gucci Mane’s “I Get the Bag” featuring Migos will get you through all of the chaos. The lyrics are a fun pun on the fact that you are standing in line to check in your bag while Gucci Mane is singing to you about how he is getting his bag — we are talking about two different bags, but it's still a pun that will keep you laughing in line.

The second song to blare through your airpods is “Smile (Living My Best Life)” by Lil Duval featuring Snoop Dogg and Ball Greezy. The song is all about smiling and celebrating life despite your questionable circumstances. As you remove your shoes and go through the metal detector, just keeping singing “I’m living my best life.”

Lastly, to get you excited about break, crank up DJ Khaled’s “All I Do Is Win.” It is always a good time to remind yourself that despite the week nine struggle, you are a winner.

For when you just need to feel good

Traveling isn’t fun, especially during the holidays. Hours are endless, traffic is terrible and, if you’re flying, you can find yourself sitting next to an armrest hog. So, what’s better than some feel-good tunes to get you through your travels?

“Giovanni” by Jamila Woods is the perfect song to get you bobbing your head along to the beat, and Woods’ soothing voice will help you relax during your long flight. The empowering lyrics will give you the perfect answer to the dreaded “How’s school going?” from your family. Just channel Woods and say, “I’m impressive, you can check my track for reference.”

If you’re looking to do a sing-along drive home, you can’t forget to add “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen to your playlist. This song is the definition of an “oldie but a goodie” and will get you belting the iconic lyrics — and forgetting the awful Thanksgiving traffic — in no time.

Lastly, you can’t forget to add the self-empowerment anthem that is “Thank You, Next” by Ariana Grande. With this in your playlist, you won’t be able to resist saying “thank you, next” to your week nine stress.

For when you wish you were sitting in an old, worn-in recliner

Bob Dylan’s eleventh studio album, “New Morning,” is perfect for fall-time listening. Considered at the time to be his return to form — after a brief foray into country-inspired songwriting — the album features a number of folksy tunes and warm, down-to-earth production.

The music also has a few high-profile fans. George Harrison released his own version of the album’s wispy opener, “If Not For You,” on his debut solo album, “All Things Must Pass.” Much later, the Coen Brothers used “The Man In Me” multiple times in the soundtrack for their 1998 cult classic, “The Big Lebowski.”

“New Morning” is probably best enjoyed while relaxing in an old, worn-in recliner. Maybe with the fireplace going as well, to combat the crisp autumn weather outside. During a busy Thanksgiving break, however, that scenario is less likely. Luckily, the album is also perfect for airplane naps and introspective car rides, so make sure to include it on your holiday travel rotation.


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